Welcome to the blog for Ali's Craft Studio by Alison Lloyd. I am a crafter of peelable stained glass designs & handpainted keyrings and I look forward to sharing with you my news direct from Kent (the Garden of England)

Make sure you visit the shop at www.studiocrafts.net to purchase your own handmade decorations to bring fun and colour into every corner of your home

Sunday, 30 January 2011

And We're Off...

Today was the first fair of 2011 for Ali's Craft Studio and I realised pretty quickly I had forgotten a number of facts since the last one in December 2010: 
  • Getting up before the sun does is completely pants and should be outlawed!
  • Good Morning Sunshine
  • No matter how difficult sleep has been for the majority of the night (courtesy of my brain trying to remember if I have packed everything), during that short period just before the alarm goes off I could sleep in positions which would outfox even the worlds greatest contortionists
  • Loading boxes into a vehicle whilst trying not to wake the lucky neighbours who have not got to set their alarm to stupid o'clock is very difficult
  • Whatever time we plan to leave and however much time we allow ourselves to get ready, we will infact leave at least 15 minutes later!
  • Early mornings are cold!
  • Setting up the stall takes ten times longer than expected
  • I will have a sore back and feel completely knackered by the time the show opens
  • No matter how many times you set up your stall in exactly the same way, things don't seem to want to fit the next time
  • During even the quietest of shows, you can guarantee a lot of visitors to your stall by opening a sandwich and taking a large can't-speak-as-my-mouth-is-so-full bite.
  • No matter how many times you click your fingers and/or heels whilst muttering 'There's no place like home' you still have to pack everything away yourself and unpack it again at the other end (come on inventors out there - surely you must be close to creating Star Trek style teleporting devices by now!)
  • Early mornings are vile, vicious things that should not be allowed (I may have mentioned this before!)  
  • Six o'clock should only appear once in a day at weekends (and I don't mean the early one)
  • Cats get the right hump when you wake them up early and leave them alone all day - you will get the cold shoulder for at least five (maybe ten) seconds when you get home - yes, I know it isn't really the hump but seconds are like hours to a cat...
OK, so I am not at my best early in the morning (you may have picked up a hint or two already pointing you in this direction) but I now have a couple of months to get back into practice as from April there will be very few weekend breaks before Christmas and sadly early mornings are the norm during this period.    I am really a night owl at heart but these two don't mix so I will have to get back into doing the reverse to most people who work Monday to Friday - my Friday and Saturday nights will have to be early to bed as, believe me, Saturdays and Sundays (plus Bank Holiday Mondays) are going to be really early to rise.

I did, however, really enjoy getting back into the swing of things back at Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre in Gillingham, Kent - it is a really nice centre with some great shops but not too big that you are exhausted before managing to get to all of them as can sometimes happen in the massive shopping malls which are popping up here there and everywhere.   It was great to see a good mix of old and new customers and we had a good day to start the year off.

If you missed out on a visit today, panic not - we are back at Hempstead again on 27th February.  I have been adding a number of fairs to the Fairs List on the website so you can see more of the shows coming up.  This list isn't complete by any means and more will be added once they are confirmed so keep a lookout for ones in your area.

A visit to the Land Of Zed - much better option than getting up at stupid o'clock!
Needless to say, the night owl is not going to be getting a look-in tonight - my bed is calling me and I will be happy to visiting the Land of Zed very shortly!

Night night all - don't wake me early tomorrow morning (early mornings are just WRONG!!)

P.S. If you like the designs pictured above, you can get them from the website - http://www.studiocrafts.net/!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

New Year's Resolutions and Getting Back into the Swing...

OK now, be honest - how many of you are still keeping your New Year's Resolutions???   Traditionally, the majority of people will have broken most if not all of them by now and be back where they started!

Well, this year is different for me.   My New Year's Resolution was not to make any as they are impossible to keep and what do you know, even three weeks into 2011 I am still not keeping all the resolutions I haven't made!  Yay for me!!  (I know, you are so impressed with my steely willpower but don't be intimidated, if you put your mind to it and with a bit of training, you too can stick to all the resolutions you don't make!)

Butterfly Set

The beginning of the year is a quiet time for fairs and shows so it is a perfect opportunity for a major stock check to make sure that I have plenty of the popular designs in stock and that everything is in tip top condition.

I also use this time to source and decide upon new patterns and colour options for existing designs and am always happy to get ideas of what people are looking for - this is one of the great things about craft fairs, you get to speak to customers and the feedback is fantastic regarding what colours/designs people are looking for. 

This time of year isn't completely devoid of shows, however, and Sunday 30th January sees Ali's Craft Studio back at Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre, Gillingham, Kent for the first show of the year and I have already had calls from previous customers planning to come along to see us there.   If you are in the area and haven't been to this centre, it is well worth a visit as it is a lovely place to shop.   We are located outside Marks & Spencers and WH Smith and yes, it is a real test of my aforementioned willpower not to spend, spend, spend!

I have a bunch of booking forms for fairs in 2011 and these are being booked and confirmed ready to be entered into the Fairs List on the website - I will be back at most of the locations from 2010 so look forward to seeing lots of regular customers as well as many new ones.

So good luck with your resolutions, good luck to all the crafting blog buddies I have with your fairs and lets make 2011 a great year!  See you all soon....